Belles Stung by Spartans
DUBUQUE, Iowa - An 11-2 run over the final three minutes of play by Aurora proved to be the difference as the Saint Mary's basketball team lost a 64-62 contest against the Spartans in the University of Dubuque Holiday Tournament on Saturday afternoon.
With an eight-point spurt in a two-and-a-half minute span early in the game, the Belles grabbed an 8-3 lead over the Spartans. The teams battled to keep the game close as the Belles' lead was not more than that five-point advantage in the first half of play. Saint Mary's held the upper hand in the scoring column until the 6:40 mark in the first half. The lead was traded back-and-forth until an 8-0 run by the Belles gave Saint Mary's a 32-26 lead with 43 seconds left in the opening period. The Spartans tallied a late basket in the half to make the score 32-28 at the break.
Aurora opened the second period by outscoring Saint Mary's 14-4 to take a 45-38 lead five minutes into the half. The Belles responded with an 18-6 spurt of their own to regain the upper hand at 56-51 with just over five minutes left in the game. During that run, six different players contributed to the team's scoring.
Saint Mary's took their largest lead of the game with a three-pointer by Sarah Macius to go up 60-53. The late 11-2 run by the Spartans, however, proved to be the difference in the contest as Aurora's rally pushed them to the 64-62 win.
Eleni Shea led the Belles with 12 points while Shanlynn Bias added 11 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. Krista Knapke scored 10 points and shared team-high rebound honors with Bias with seven boards.
After the conclusion of the tournament, Krista Knapke was named to the all-tournament team for her efforts on the weekend.
The Belles (3-11) will resume play on January 5 when they host MIAA rival Albion at 3:00 p.m. at Angela Athletic Facility.